It is all too easy to dismiss the movement boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel (BDS) as insignificant—having sway only among academic radicals, student activists, and the extremist fringes of the Democratic party. But to do so would be a serious mistake, writes William Kolbrener:
[T]he ideas that inform BDS, and which have influenced parts of the Democratic Party, are part of an ideological status quo at humanities departments across the United States. Specifically, the creed of “intersectionality” positions Zionism and Israel as beyond the postmodern pale: the embodiment of fundamentalist religion, ultra-nationalist politics, and militarism. . . .
Like Satan in John Milton’s great epic Paradise Lost, in order to win BDS must merely create a moral equivalence between the heavenly and satanic angels. BDS does not need . . . to bring centrist liberals to their Devil’s party. Just suggesting a moral equivalence between Israel and its adversaries is enough to persuade life-long liberals to entertain the devil’s fictions: that, for example, the seventeen-year-old girl who was killed last month after swimming with her brother and father “was a settler, after all.” . . .
Those in the BDS movement, and especially their radical Islamist allies, understand the ideological exhaustion of liberals. They cultivate the growing, if still somewhat suppressed, notion among them that the institutions of democracy are irrevocably tainted by colonialism, racism, and sexism.